Today, FCM President Jean Perrault, Mayor of Sherbrooke, Que., issued the following statement on the federal election result:
“On behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, I would like to congratulate Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the new Government of Canada, and all those elected to serve in the next Parliament.
“After six weeks of campaigning, Canadians are ready for parties to roll up their sleeves to deliver the bread-and-butter solutions that will make a difference to their jobs, families and communities during this time of growing global economic uncertainty.
“For federal parties searching for common ground, commitments in cities and communities are a roadmap for the future. Our cities and communities are Canada’s economic engine and will continue to drive Canada’s economic performance.
“Infrastructure investment is an effective recession-fighter, creating new jobs while providing badly-needed improvements to roads, bridges, public transit, water and sewer systems. Accelerating infrastructure investments will be an important element in the overall plan to maintain Canada’s economic stability and performance, positioning Canada to be more productive and competitive in the future.
“Federal parties have already shown they can work together on these issues to deliver positive results for Canadians. Municipal investments such as the permanent Gas Tax Fund, the Police Officers Recruitment Fund, the social housing programs and the Public Transit Capital Trust were all broadly supported initiatives implemented by the previous Parliament. Today, these investments are helping communities secure their local infrastructure, put new buses on the road, ensure that every family has a place to sleep, and make their streets safer.
“In this campaign, federal parties put forward important commitments to support and strengthen municipalities-renewed federal funding to address affordable housing and homelessness; a 10-year plan to confront the $123-billion infrastructure deficit; and commitments to invest significant new funds in public transit.
“Canadians want safe roads, bridges and water systems that their families and businesses can count on; reliable transit service to escape volatile gas prices; front-line support for local policing and crime prevention programs; affordable housing to address chronic homelessness in our communities; and the unique infrastructure that will strengthen and connect rural and northern communities.
“Federal funding for public transit, affordable housing and policing will expire soon unless the government puts them on a longer-term track, and the gas tax fund will steadily lose its value unless the government indexes the program to keep pace with inflation, population growth, and economic expansion.
“This election has been a step forward for healthy and resilient cities and communities and a strong Canada. This campaign has also raised expectations and Canadians are primed for action by our federal leaders.
“FCM is ready and willing to work with the new government, and all parties in Parliament to cement campaign commitments into the investments that will define stable and strong economic performance.”